History for Wales: First last-minute win in South Africa

Wales made history when they recorded an impressive 13-12 win over South Africa in the second Test in Bloemfontein.

It was Wales’ first win over the Springboks on South African soil, ending 58 years of injury and reaching their 12th try.

After an agonizing three-point loss in the series opener last weekend, Wayne Pivac’s side cleaned up their second attempt and set up a decider in Cape Town next Saturday.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber’s decision to make 14 changes backfired – resting world champions like Siya Kolisi, Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe – when Wales were 78 minutes into Josh Adams’ attempt to dislodge Gareth Anscombe from the Turning sidelines triumphed.

Anscombe and Wales captain Dan Biggar kicked earlier penalties while Handre Pollard scored four penalties for the Springboks.

Alun Wyn Jones was booked for the second straight season – although it looked like a tough call for hands in the ruck – and it looked like it could be a frustrating defeat for Wales, but they ended in style as Anscombe died kept my nerve.

Wales, who saw Biggar and winger Alex Cuthbert injured, had lost 11 consecutive Tests in South Africa dating back to 1964.

But just over three months after losing at home to Italy, they stunned the world champions.

The game lacked glamor and offensive ingenuity – unlike last weekend’s 32-29 thriller in Pretoria – but Wales won’t care.

Wing Alex Cuthbert returned to the Wales starting line-up as the only change from the first Test, replacing Adams while Saracens pillar Sam Wainwright was on the bench.

Nienaber only retained lock Eben Etzebeth, but recurring star names like Pollard and former World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit were notable additions to the three-game streak.

South Africa went off from the start, flanker Du Toit insulted and Biggar gave Wales a 3-0 lead.

The Springboks soon found momentum, however, as Test debutants Kurt-Lee Arendse and number eight Evan Roos threatened the Welsh line before Pollard converted an equalizing penalty.

Biggar then missed a long-range shot, and a cautious opening had both sides reminiscent of sparring boxers.

Wales suffered injury damage when Cuthbert was eliminated in the 17th minute and Adams – top scorer at the 2019 World Cup – took over from him.

Roos continued to be a handful for Wales defense and the South African strikers developed some momentum which meant the tourists spent long periods in their own 22.

But Wales’ defensive organisation, geared to do an excellent job in the collapse of flanker Tommy Reffell, meant South Africa couldn’t find a way and it remained quite clear.

Wales had weathered a storm, with Leicester striker Reffell’s superb display being surpassed by the efforts of his back-row colleagues Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau.

Both teams had half-chances but the defense dominated so much that errors were forced, with Springboks and Harlequins center Andre Esterhuizen dropping a direct pass in midfield.

A grueling first half ended without a goal to score early and Wales are still very much in the hunt as they sought a win to equalize the series.

Pivac sent scrum half Tomos Williams in place of Kieran Hardy for the second period, while Nienaber introduced hooker Malcolm Marx and prop Vincent Koch.

Cuthbert, meanwhile, had his arm in a sling on the sidelines while Biggar received a severe blow to his shoulder before continuing after treatment.

Pollard put South Africa ahead with a 43rd-minute penalty before Biggar missed a comfortable chance for a shooter of his quality.

Biggar left the action and was replaced by Anscombe after 52 minutes while Pollard completed his penalty hat-trick to take a 9-3 lead.

Wales then saw Jones sinned but it was a difficult decision from referee Angus Gardner and his officiating team.

Jones protested his innocence before leaving the field and a Pollard fourth penalty put South Africa nine points clear but substitutes Adams and Anscombe had the final dramatic word and the Springboks were silenced.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/international-rugby/history-for-wales-as-last-gasp-try-snatches-first-ever-win-in-south-africa-41827597.html History for Wales: First last-minute win in South Africa

Fry Electronics Team

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